27 Best Dermatologist-Approved Face Moisturizers to Buy in 2022

There are many at-home products that can help you get healthy, glowing skin. Retinol serums are a fantastic way to boost collagen production and visibly soften wrinkles, vitamin C products can even out skin tone and protect your complexion from free-radical damage, and SPF shields skin from the signs of aging caused by the sun (there are even products that are suitable for darker skin tones). Yes, there are loads of product to help you turn back the clock, but did you know that even the simple act of moisturizing can have a miraculous effect?

It can—but the key, says dermatologists, is to search for a formula that works with, not against, your skin type. “Choosing the correct moisturizer for your skin type is critical to maintaining a healthy and well-balanced skin barrier,” says board-certified dermatologist Lindsay Zubritsky, MD. “If you're using a product that doesn't work well for your skin type, it can lead to potentially worsening skin problems such as acne or oiliness.”

But with so many options, where do you start in your quest to find the moisturizer that best suits your complexion type? Board-certified dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD, suggests letting the ingredient label be your guide. “You should always start by scanning the ingredients,” she says. “If you have oily skin, moisturizers with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide will help reduce excess oil production. If you have dry skin, look for moisturizers with lactic acid or shea butter to nourish the skin. For sensitive skin, look for a moisturizer with ceramides or hyaluronic acid.”

Or you could consult our comprehensive list of the best moisturizers for every skin type right here. Our experts helped us narrow the field to the products that will nourish skin on all ends of spectrum, from oily to dry to sensitive (even acne-prone folks can get in on the fun). And don't think you'll need to shell out all the dollars to get great results: Our guide includes plenty of great drugstore moisturizers. You're welcome.

22 Best Face Moisturizers of 2022

We updated this article in March 2022 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive testing done by the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab. Our original top-rated picks, selected by the GH Beauty Lab, remain the same.

Applying a face moisturizer daily is one of the number one keys to healthy, glowing skin no matter what the season, your age, or skin type. Experts say that hydrating is crucial for keeping skin youthful and healthy, even if you don’t have dry skin. “Moisturizing protects the skin barrier," explains Dendy Engelman, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. The healthier your barrier, the better your skin’s defense against inflammation and damage, which can protect skin from signs of dehydration, irritation, redness, and even hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles over time.

But just because a product is called a moisturizer doesn't mean it will be effective at hydrating skin. So Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists are constantly putting face moisturizer formulas to the test, using both Lab instruments and consumer tester feedback to determine which really work. In the GH Beauty Lab's most recent day cream test, scientists tallied 4,434 Lab data points to find the best face moisturizers you can buy for all skin types, including combination skin, sensitive skin, oily skin and dry skin, and for all ages, whether you're looking for an anti-aging formula or one for glowing skin.

Here, read all about the best face moisturizers and creams , as tested by the GH Beauty Lab, backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal or recommended by dermatologists:

Our top picks

The 24 Best Facial Moisturizers in 2022, According to Marie Claire Editors

A good moisturizer is non-negotiable, but many facial moisturizers don't quite do the job. Some leave a pesky slick of sheen that catches the light in all the wrong places, while others feel so lightweight (opens in new tab) they don't leave behind any benefits to repair dry skin. (opens in new tab) When it comes to finding the perfect moisturizer formula for your skincare needs, there's so much to consider. For example, you could be in the market for a nighttime moisturizer to reset and hydrate your epidermis during your beauty sleep. Or, maybe you're looking for an SPF-packed formula (opens in new tab) that hydrates without clogging your pores. Either way, keep your skincare standards high and don't settle for less because Marie Claire editors are here to point you in the right direction.

So that you won't have to try every moisturizer in the saturated market, we did for you. Partly, well, because it's our job, but more importantly, because we're on this quest for good skin with you. Ahead, team MC gets candid about the face moisturizers we absolutely love, which are equal parts hydrating, glow-inducing, and about to be your overactive sebaceous glands' worst nightmare.

THE SENSITIVE SKIN-APPROVED (opens in new tab) First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration Moisturizer for Face and Body "It's a little heavy for summertime use, but for fall, winter, and spring—so, most of the year—I reach for First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream more often than any other moisturizer. I get on-off eczema around my eyes and forehead when it's chilly out, and this is the only cream that soothes my skin when it's at its itchiest and grouchiest. You can use it all over your body—I apply it to mosquito bites to stop the itching—and it soaks into your skin in a way that feels nourishing, rather than superficial or irritating." —Jenny Hollander, Director of Content Strategy $36.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE HYDRATING GEL (opens in new tab) Tatcha The Water Cream Oil-Free Pore Minimizing Moisturizer "This cream has been a staple in my skincare arsenal for a few years, and it's a complete lifesaver for reducing excess oil on acne-prone skin. Not only does this luxurious water cream hydrate without leaving my skin feeling greasy, but the presence of Japanese wild rose extracts does wonders to refine the appearance of my large pores." —Chelsea Hall, Former Assistant Beauty and Fashion Editor $69.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE LUXURIOUS MOISTURIZER (opens in new tab) La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Lotion "This is my skincare stalwart. I use it all year round, just about every night—sometimes layered with a serum or two if I'm trying to refine texture or tackle some sunspots; other times solo when my skin is feeling a touch sensitive. It provides all the sensorial feels—the signature ocean-y La Mer scent, the fast-absorbing, lightweight texture that feels cool to the touch. It also provides the perfect amount of slip as a base for face rolling (I'm into this Refa S Carat roller I got in Tokyo). A couple of nights a week, I'll apply, roll for ten minutes, then leave any excess on my skin to absorb like a sleeping mask." —Ying Chu, Former Beauty & Health Director $310.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE ENERGIZING MOISTURIZER (opens in new tab) Origins GinZing™ Oil-Free Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer "Oh, how I could count the ways I love this moisturizer. I decided to take the plunge after watching one of my favorite influencers, Devon Lee Carlson, rave and rave about how refreshing this was on her skin and was curious if it was worth the hype. Classically, it was! When I apply the gel texture to my face, my skin feels reborn. I can't decide if it's the strong smell of citrus or the energy boost from the coffee and ginseng ingredients, but oh my, is it wonderful. Origins claim the moisturizer delivers 72 hours of oil-free hydration, but the effects last even longer, some days. I'd be lost without this orange container." —Bianca Rodriguez, Former Digital Fellow $32.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE DRY SKIN RESCUER (opens in new tab) SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Anti-Aging Cream "Between winter dryness, pregnancy, and relocating to Colorado's arid climate, my skin severely lacks moisture. This SkinCeuticals formula is one of the few that I genuinely feel the difference. Firstly, it absorbs fast, so I don't feel greasy before bed or applying makeup. Another pro: it's been helping with the uneven texture I've experienced since becoming pregnant (and can't treat with lasers for now), giving me a glowy and bright result. Finally, while it is intended for more mature skin, I welcome the anti-aging benefits for my 30-something fine lines and wrinkles." —Laura Lajiness Kaupke, Marie Claire contributor $130.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE ACNE CONTROL-APPROVED (opens in new tab) Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer "I swear by the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit moisturizer because I need acne/oil control. It has salicylic acid in it, which tends to keep my breakouts at bay to the point that, when I'm using this moisturizer consistently, I rarely ever need to use an additional acne treatment. This product has made a huge, noticeable impact on my skin, to the point that I feel comfortable going out without concealer or foundation--it's made my skin that clear. I know that some people find this drying, but if that ever happens (rare), I just add a serum or essence to my morning routine, or I'll do an occasional sheet mask or night mask." —Gabrielle Ulubay, E-Commerce Writer $10.99 at (opens in new tab)

THE PEPTIDE BOOSTER (opens in new tab) OleHenriksen Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturizer "I have dry, dehydrated skin, and this moisturizer from OleHenriksen changed all that. Instead of slathering on a bunch of oils and creams, I realized that I could just use this moisturizer to help fix my skin barrier instead, and it works like a dream. I've been using it for only a few weeks, and my skin has completely changed: It's bouncier, my makeup applies better, and it's so much more even." —Julia Marzovilla, E-Commerce Writer $48.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE PORE-FRIENDLY HYDRATOR (opens in new tab) Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream "This rich-but-not-heavy moisturizer has all the magic powers of Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream, but without the stickiness. A little goes a long way, and it leaves my skin hydrated and soothed for hours without feeling greasy or shiny or clogging my (easily cloggable!) pores. It's my go-to for dry, cracked winter skin that needs a shot of moisture." —JH $28.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE CALMING CBD FORMULA (opens in new tab) Lord Jones Acid Mantle Repair Moisturizer With 250mg CBD and Ceramides "I have dry yet still acne-prone skin (fun!), and this formula delivers on all fronts. The just-thick-enough moisturizer is packed with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and squalane to hydrate and repair, while the brand's signature CBD keeps things calm. It also comes with a cute little gold spatula to scoop up the product, which is officially to keep the product free of contamination, but has the added value of feeling extra fancy when you use it." —Lindy Segal, Marie Claire Contributor $75.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE MASK MOISTURIZER (opens in new tab) Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask "Don't let the name confuse you—though it's called a 'mask,' it can also be used as a daily moisturizer. My skin has been dry and super sensitive lately, and this Summer Fridays product has become my go-to. The formula's mix of niacinamide, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants hydrate and soothe my reactive skin. It's easy to see why it's become a best seller for the brand. I apply a light layer for the daytime, and then I go heavier before bed. Plus, I always add a little extra under my eyes, too. " —Ashley Kiely, Marie Claire contributor $26.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE SUPER ANTI-AGER (opens in new tab) Dr. Barbara Sturm Super Anti-Aging Face Cream "Now into my thirties, anti-aging formulas are more of a priority, but several I've tried have been a bit too rich for my skin. Dr. Barbara Sturm makes some of the most gentle yet potent formulas, and her new Super Anti-Aging Face Cream is no exception, becoming a go-to year-round. It's light enough to wear during the day, layering well with other products during the winter, and perfectly nourishing at night throughout the warmer months. Trust me, I loathe goopy formulas, and this one feels bouncy and soothing while reducing the appearing of my fine lines." —LLK $360.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE WINTER-PREP (opens in new tab) Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream "This moisturizer changed my skin, no way around it. I have very, very dry skin, and I've been using this day and night to help prep it for the cold winter months. It's full of hyaluronic acid that leaves my skin feeling plump and really calm. I suffer from redness in the winter, and this completely takes care of that." —JM $45.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE HYALURONIC ACID GEL (opens in new tab) Higher Education Double Major Hyaluronic Acid Gel Moisturizer "Layering products is my bread and butter, I love a good skincare routine, but I hate feeling oily or greasy—which doesn't help that I have oily skin. The gel texture of this moisturizer adheres to the skin and dries in a subtle tacky feel that isn't slimy. I have acne-prone skin and love that there is niacinamide and squalene that actually help with the inflammation and doesn't irritate." —Alexis Gaskin, Freelance Beauty Writer $38.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE MULTI-VITAMIN ONE (opens in new tab) Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream "This multitasking vegan moisturizer really does it all for me. Not only is it a rich, ultra-hydrating moisturizer gentle enough for my sensitive skin, but it's also packed with vitamins A, C, and E, which makes for one less skincare step before my head hits the pillow. My skin wakes up super soft and hydrated every time. Plus, its scent made up of essential oils is *chefs kiss*." —Tova Diamond, Freelance Art Director $48.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE ONE WITH VITAMIN C (opens in new tab) Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask with Vitamin C "I want to slather this moisturizer over my entire body, but I feel like that's not allowed, and I would run out very fast. For now, I stick to using this as a weekly overnight mask (or when I'm feeling extra dry), and I wake up with the most radiant and glowy skin ever." —AG $48.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE CERAMIDE PICK (opens in new tab) Cottin Cella Hydrating Face Cream "All the ingredients in this little-known moisturizer help keep my skin hydrated and incredibly smooth. The first time I tried this product, I was amazed and how fast the texture of my skin improved. It sinks into the skin very quickly, but the moisture it delivers lasts all day. When the world tunes in to how wonderful this cream is, I'm ready to say, 'Well, I tried it first!'" —Tatjana Freund, Former Beauty Assistant $34.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE CALMING HYDRATOR Epara Moisturising Face Cream "One thing to note about me is that I'm down to try just about any treatment that promises to even out the skin tone. This luxurious face cream is formulated with top-tier ingredients like shea butter, marula oil, niacinamide, and licorice root extract. The cream's consistency is not too heavy but still manages to do wonders when it comes to hydrating my skin, calming inflammation from pesky breakouts and fading dark marks." —CH $147.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE PAMPERING CREAM (opens in new tab) Sulwhasoo Anti-Aging Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream "I first tried this luxe cream in Seoul, South Korea, which is essentially the skincare capital of the world. This K-Beauty brand is absolutely huge there, and for good reason: this formula is out-of-this-world effective. I use it twice a day, and I've already noticed the radiance it imbues. It hydrates, plumps, and fortifies my skin against the wrinkles that keep trying to form, and its herbal ginseng scent makes me feel like I'm back in that Korean spa getting pampered." —Taylore Glynn, Former Beauty & Health Editor $240.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE POWERHOUSE HYDRATOR (opens in new tab) Macrene Actives 1 oz. High Performance Face Cream "Dr. Macrene Alexiades—a talented cosmetic dermatologist who studied medicine and genetics at Harvard and spent years developing skincare formulas for big beauty brands—really nailed it with this all-purpose moisturizer. The texture is spot-on: It's hydrating and rich but not greasy and absorbs just quickly enough to leave skin a bit glowy without getting in the way of a seamless finish for makeup. A little goes a long way. I also take comfort in knowing that she's crammed in as many powerhouse ingredients as humanly possible—resveratrol, red and blue algae, mushroom extract, and yerba mate tea, to name just a few." —YC $225.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE WATER-LOCKING MOISTURIZER (opens in new tab) Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer with Skin-Smoothing Peptides "This is my newest obsession. I've only been using this moisturizer for about two months, but the radiant results have been amazing. Because I've been sheltering in place, makeup just hasn't been on my radar. Instead, I've been focusing on fresh and glowing (not greasy) skin. This lightweight, water-locking formula does just that: hydrates, locks in moisture and leaves behind a shine-free glow." —CH $68.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE BRIGHTENING MOISTURIZER (opens in new tab) OleHenriksen C-Rush™ Vitamin C Gel Moisturizer "I've become newly obsessed with this gel-based, brightening moisturizer. It gives my skin the glowy fix it needs in the thanks to the potent dose of vitamin C. I'm always amazed after many mirror checks throughout the day, and the long-lasting glow is still looking luminous as ever. Plus, the slight citrus scent reminds me of vacay—where I'd much rather be right now." —MA $48.00 at (opens in new tab)

THE PLUMPING MOISTURIZER (opens in new tab) Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream Plumping and Radiance "I've been deeply obsessed with this moisturizer for so long that it's basically become a personality trait. It emerges from the jar as a luxurious cream but melts into an air-light gel the second it hits the skin, making it the most luxurious texture I've ever experienced. I consider it my instant fix: whether I'm waking up from a sodium-fueled Seamless extravaganza or trudging through the morning after barely any sleep at all, one application leaves my tired, dry skin looking revived and bouncy. And it doesn't hurt that it smells like a Parisian flower market." —TG $124.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

The Redness-Reducing Moisturizer (opens in new tab) Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream "This moisturizer is marketed as a night cream, but I use it day and night. It's slightly green-tinted, which gets rid of any redness on my face. It feels lightweight but is intensely hydrating, and my skin always feels softer after using it." —TF $22 at Ulta (opens in new tab)

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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